So I’ve just returned home from a short trip in Wales! The surprise was that it’s actually not long to get to at all. If you live in one of the Home Counties to the west of London, 3/4 hours will see you reach many a Welsh town.
The main motivation to visit Wales was the fact that it was a cheaper getaway and still a different country – albeit still in the UK and no passport necessary! Oh, and also the fact that I accidentally scratched it off on my scratch map after getting a little too carried away… so naturally I felt I must rectify this wrong and actually step foot in the place. Yes, the latter is probably the more accurate.
So Wales! Absolutely full of castle ruins, greenery and cattle grazing. The terrain is also the most hilly I’ve ever seen. Seriously, the hills flowed for miles like waves in the sea. That’s the best way I can describe it. Pretty spectacular. Oh, also, every single sign you see is in both English and Welsh. And if, like me, you’ve never spoken a word of Welsh in your life, it’s extremely challenging (and hilarious) to attempt to do so.
The castles we saw during our 4 day trip:
Pembroke Castle and Carew Castle & Tidal Mill
We also visited Manor Wildlife Park, home to tigers, rhinos, monkeys, camels and a whole host of other animals. My personal favourites were the wallabies and lemurs because their enclosures enabled visitors to go right inside and see the animals up close. You were even able to feed and stroke the wallabies!
If I’m completely honest with you, the target audience for this wildlife park was most definitely humans younger than ourselves, very small children in fact… However, the big kids in us couldn’t resist and I’m glad we did stop by because I would never have stroked a wallaby otherwise 🙂
…was beautiful. We took some pictures down on the beach and the lighting was incredible! It’s a bit of a trek from the car park and cafe (up some steep steps, across 2 fields and then down another set of steps) but totally worth it and the walk is extremely picturesque 🙂 The beach itself is sandy and there are some rock pools closer to the sea.
Now this place was most definitely where it was all at. We stayed in Pembroke Dock (20/30 minutes away) and the most exciting thing you were going to see in the town itself and the surrounding area were some sheep grazing. Although, having said that, I want to shout out ‘Pizza Timem’. Fantastic choice of food (not limited to just pizza) of high gastronomic excellence, affordable and a quick delivery service. A solid 9/10 fast food chain and a blooming good find.
Back to Tenby…
We visited on (in the majority) a sunny Welsh day so it was very busy but you could definitely see why. Tenby has 3 beaches, two quite small but very pretty. There’s also a quaint harbour and plenty of shops. Many of the hotels and B&Bs are adorned with flowers and hanging baskets, they really make an effort and its so nice to see. Moreover, there’s a great restaurant on South Beach called (funnily enough) ‘South Beach Bar & Grill’. We had fish and chips whilst looking out through the large glass windows at the beach and out to the sea.
The National Botanic Garden of Wales
On our last day, we visited the National Botanic Garden. It was on our route home and a nice way to end the trip. In my opinion, Kew Gardens in London is a better kept and more impressive sight overall. However, this Welsh attraction is not to be sneezed at!
Being August, a lot of the flowers were out in full bloom and the whole place was extremely pretty. However, without doubt, the winning feature is the greenhouse because its the largest single span glasshouse in the world!!!! Quite an achievement and certainly, it was a magnificent sight.
If you like butterflies, they also have a butterfly house 🙂
To conclude, would I return? Perhaps not to the south of Wales. As beautiful as it was, I feel that the north and specifically in Snowdonia I would see some breathtaking and unrivaled sights. Certainly, this is on the list for potential 2018 trips!